Oregon Recycles Street and Highway Signs to Save Environment
Successful pilot project uses high-pressure water jets to strip signs for reuse
Old highway and street signs can be difficult to recycle and expensive for governments to replace constantly. To reduce their costs and help the environment at the same time the state of Oregon is in the midst of a two year pilot program reports KTVZ.com News.
The State Department of Transportation (ODOT) awarded a $150,000 contract to a private company, Northwest Sign Recycling, and charged them with the task of finding cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways of reusing old signs. They distributed sign collections bins at State Highway Department locations throughout the state and began collecting old signs. Once obtained the signs are hydrostripped with highly pressurized streams of water that removes lettering and any reflective coating. After they are clean they are given to ODOT to be relettered and put back into use. The process is very environmentally friendly because no chemicals are used and the old signs do not end up in landfills. So far over 500 signs have been resurfaced in just four months and the state has saved 41 percent within its sign budget during that time.